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99 Red Balloons: Onederland Birthday Blog (with pix)

Friday, August 26, 2011

Today is my birthday.

I am 37 years old.

For the past ten years I was morbidly obese.

My late 20s felt more like my 50s because I had NO energy. Now at 37 I feel younger than I did at 25 even. I feel full of hope and life.

As of today I have lost exactly 99 lbs. I now have a permanent residence in that magical place called Onederland.

And I intend to stay.

To celebrate this loss, this victory, I am going to list 99 things that I can do now, that I could not do before in my previous life, or reasons why I continue to do this, or even things I have learned. I love the 80s song “99 Red Balloons” and I am viewing each point as one of the pounds that I have released into the sky, never to be seen again.


1. I used to not be able to walk 1 mile...now I can run one mile, two miles, three miles, 6 miles and MORE!

Having trouble walking

2. I can walk up the stairs without running out of breath.

3. I can shop in the juniors section if I want to.

4. I can do a plank!

5. I can get on a bike and ride it without falling over.

6. I can pick up BOTH of my girls (one is 5 and past the toddler age).

7. I have lost 7 pants sizes, 8 jeans sizes, 6 shirt sizes, and 5 cup sizes.

8. I have run 6 5ks.

9. I have run 1 8k.

10. I have run 1 10k.

11. I have signed up to run another 10k and another 5k this year.

12. I am a yoga lover.

13. I look in the mirror naked and like what I see.

14. I have more energy.

15. I dropped over 10 BMI points

16. I have received 4 popular blog awards on Spark, thus inspiring others.

17. I have more strength.

18. I have more confidence.

19. I embrace my imperfections.

20. Because it gets to the point where junk food just doesn’t taste good or feel good anymore.

21. Because now I have more running shoes, cross-training shoes and walking shoes than work shoes in my closet.

22. I don’t have to wait for a sale coupon at Lane Bryant to afford clothes. I can shop in any little old store I WANT to!

23. I inspire MYSELF

24. I like veggies now.

25. I love the feeling of cold sweat on my body after a run.

26. I love my sore legs.

27. Because the next 10K I’m running I ordered a Medium shirt.

28. Because I no longer want to be able to wear clothes that fit on my sister who was 9 months pregnant with twins.

29. Because I don’t want to wear maternity clothes when I am not pregnant.

30. I want to inspire people.

31. Because if I can do it, anyone can.

32. I’ve gotten closer to God.

33. Rediscovering that I like nature.

34. Feeling (and looking) 10 years younger.

35. I can have sex without my clothes on.

36. I average over 1,000 fitness minutes per month.

37. I average running 60 miles per month.

38. Because I can run a 5k at lunch now and it is easy for me.

39. I trained for and ran a 10k, setting a PR.

40. I now go on fitness dates with friends – running dates are my favorite.

41. Because I want to run a sub 30 minute 5k!

42. A neighborhood kid has a crush on me – for real!

43. I now change in the ladies’ locker room out in the open, I don't hide behind the curtain like I usually do.

44. I wasn’t afraid to take a picture of me in my bathing suit.

45. I will fight for my workout time, I protect it and cherish it.

46. I do it for my daughters.

47. I am learning to live in my (new) skin.

48. I had to ditch my old belt and use my hubby’s – he was always smaller than me, now I can wear his belt!

49. I turn down pizza, pie and peach cobbler at the office.

50. Because I've got SUN. Love my Sunny Gals!!

51. I am worth it.

52. I give away clothes to Goodwill on a bi-weekly basis.

53. I drove my car in my bathing suit!

54. I walked my dog in my bathing suit!

55. I now wear a running skirt.

56. I went on vacation and planned healthy meals and got workouts in.

57. A regular size beach towel fits around my waist!

58. Instead of my typical thermal pjs (yes even in the summer) my new fave is undies and a t.

59. I love touching my stomach.

60. The Starbucks barista hit on me. Twice.

61. I used to dress up for life...now I play in it.

62. I love the heat now.

63. My husband thought my jeans were his because they've gotten so small.

64. I like the space I take up now.

65. I ran a mile with my daughter.

66. I ran a mile with my daughter alongside her bike.

67. Being able to sit cross legged and be comfortable.

68. People seriously don't recognize me, including people I've known for years and my old swimming instructor.

69. I made a personal size Amy’s Kitchen Pizza last for 3 days…it is 3 servings, but in my past life I would have eaten the whole thing…

70. I had three guys wait and hold the elevator for me – even though they were the closest to it! NEVER has that ever happened to me before.

71. Things that seem insurmountable usually are. If I think of this weight loss journey as a huge mountain to climb, it will never happen. Same with a run – if I go out just wanting to be done, or over with, and just want the fuzzy feelings afterward, that’s going to make it harder on me. Enjoying the journey is one of the biggest takeaways for me.

72. When plans change, sometimes it’s for the best. Go with the flow.

73. I am so thankful for my new life…

74. I worked out for 10 days in a row for 20 minutes or more. Streaker!

75. I reach for carrots instead of chips with dip.

76. We now make healthy meals as a family.

77. I love my curves.

78. I felt sexy dressing up as a pin-up for my husband’s 40th birthday surprise party.

79. This journey is not a quick-fix solution. I am worth the time invested in myself and not one minute is wasted on my health.

80. Because I used to look like this:

81. For my husband (the same man who is in the picture above with me and stood by me through it all) I love you!

82. My wedding ring (and lingerie) fits after 10 years of NOT fitting.

83. My V02 score went from being off the chart (worse than “very poor” ) to GOOD

84. My Real Age test used to say I was 10 years older than my actual age. NOW it says that my “real age” is 33 years old. I’ll take it!

85. I now smile in every picture.

86. I've gone from couch potato to joyful runner.

87. I’ve nearly lost the equivalent of a 2 month old horse.

88. I’ve gained new life.

89. I racked up over 20,001 fitness minutes (or about 333 hours).

90. I AM a runner.

91. I'm dreaming dreams I never thought possible before. Running a half marathon? Writing a novel? The options are endless.

92. I now have joy.

93. I have faith.

94. I love myself.

95. I dressed up as Marilyn Monroe for Halloween last year and this year I plan to dress as Sally Jupiter from the Watchmen.

96. I’ve been called “The Incredible Shrinking Woman”.

97. My daughter Lucy said she wants to be strong like me.

98. My husband is proud of me.

(Card Jim gave me)

99. In oh, so many ways than one. I love my new life. Thank you, Lord.

Ninety-nine dreams I have had
Every one a red balloon
Now it's all over and I'm standin' pretty
In this dust that was a city

If I could find a souvenir
Just to prove the world was here
And here is a red balloon
I think of you and let it go

~ Lyrics from "99 Red Balloons"

For those that might want to know more about why and how I do this, here are links to previous blogs I've written. Thanks for all of your support!!

Link to blog on WHY I do this:


Link to blog on HOW I do this:


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GRACERINGER 2/2/2012 11:11PM

    I smiled the whole way through your list! I'm so happy for you!

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PURPLELVR7 11/9/2011 9:26PM


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PRINCESS1959 11/9/2011 12:53AM

    Wow emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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ALOFA0509 9/19/2011 9:50PM

You INSPIRE sista!!!! Terrific Blog emoticon

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KITHKINCAID 9/16/2011 3:35PM

    Finally back on your blog list. And this might be one of my absolute favourites. You are amazing. 99 congratulations on everything that you have accomplished. Love you!!!

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KHALIA2 9/16/2011 1:19AM

  Beautifully written and illustrated!

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GLITTERGIRL69 9/14/2011 5:38PM

    Kathy, as you know you have blessed my life in so many ways. It is more than a honor to call you my friend. I am so proud of you! You are a child of God and NO ONE- NO ONE can take that away from you. YOU GO GIRL!!!

I love you! emoticon

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-PAULA 9/13/2011 10:20PM

    You have done amazing! Thanks for sharing!

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BOOKRUNNER 9/13/2011 8:08AM

    I LOVE this!

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LUPERLA 9/13/2011 1:15AM

    That is amazing. Thank You for the inspiration.

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FITTGRRL 9/12/2011 11:55PM

    Amazing! emoticonI love it! emoticon
You are Greatness!

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CHUNKYMONKEY36 9/12/2011 10:18PM

    What an awesome ways to celebrate all you have done!!! emoticon

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    I teared up!! Yay!! Thanks for being inspiring!

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BOOMAC1961 9/12/2011 3:31PM

    What an inspirational blog! Thank you so much for sharing! emoticon emoticon

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RHCPLUVV 9/12/2011 1:22PM

  You are so creative and inspiring! Thanks for sharing! :) I'm looking forward to making my own blog when I reach my fitness goal!

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HHB4181 9/12/2011 12:53PM

    You should be proud of all of your accomplishments!! emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 9/12/2011 12:53:33 PM

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G_TWINS 9/12/2011 12:47PM

    What a great success you are! Great work!

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BRIANDOYLE 9/12/2011 10:06AM

    Great job! Thank you for sharing!

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FWBLONDIE 9/12/2011 2:54AM

    love the blog (and the song) what an inspiration!!!! keep up the amazing work! i am just restarting my journey and with pages like yours i find it comforting to know its possible!!!

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1DORENDA 9/11/2011 8:04PM

    So cool - way to go - Happy Birthday


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ACCTGMAMA 9/11/2011 7:07PM

    Awesome! Congratulations!

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MINIUM 9/11/2011 3:45PM

    Way to go! What an inspiration!

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NMRYAN 9/11/2011 3:12PM

    Great Blog! Totally inspirational! Thanks for sharing! emoticon

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SYN-CA 9/11/2011 3:06AM

    So when are you going to get your book deal? You are an incredible writer! And, an insiration to us all. BRAVO on your personal accomplishments! Keep up the fantastic job, Kathy. I look forward to reading your next peice!

PS. Happy Birthday! Here's hoping this is your very best year yet!

Comment edited on: 9/11/2011 3:05:59 AM

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CITRUSPINE 9/11/2011 2:43AM

    Great blog! Love it and you are a definite inspiration to me and others. Thanks for sharing it and stay well and healthy.

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KBLACKFORD11 9/11/2011 12:12AM

    AMAZING! This was the most mazing thing I have read in a long time. Really gives me inspiration to do the things I want to do but have been to afraid to even try!

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    Oh my goodness! Thank you thank you thank you for taking the time to put this all into writing! You are so incredibly inspiring and I will keep this page available when I need to be reminded of my goals (which are strikingly similar to yours!) I can "hear" the joy in your words and I love how you thank Him, the author of Joy! (((HUGS)))) and blessings to you! ~ Molly - San Diego, CA :-)

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GRAMMAP1 9/10/2011 10:51PM

    You are amazing! Congratulations. I am very happy for you. Could I do the same? Probably not, but it doesn't keep me from trying. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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1CRAZYDOG 9/10/2011 10:40PM

    You look marvelous, you ARE marvelous, you look fabulous, you ARE fabulous!!!! What an inspiration. What a fantastic blog!!!

I really love you teaching your daughters how important it is to be a strong woman. You ARE!!

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JOOPRINCESS 9/10/2011 9:14PM

    Fantastic! That's like losing a supermodel! You're such an inspiration. Thank you for taking the time to write such an amazing blog post!


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LUVS2BIKE101 9/10/2011 7:12PM

    You are such an inspiration! I'm sure your list will continue to grow past 99. You are awesome!

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RED_WRITINGHOOD 9/10/2011 7:03PM

    Congratulations on all of your accomplishments and for getting "Most Liked Member Blog"!!! You look so amazing and you are a gorgeous woman! I am turning 37 this year as well and I so much better off than last year!

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MARYJOVINCENT 9/10/2011 6:15PM

Thanks for sharing your story. You are certainly an inspiration to me. Keep the story going.

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DEBBIEG8S 9/10/2011 3:31PM

    Thank you for sharing your story. You are such an inspiration to me and to many other people.

Congratulations on your weight loss and keep up the good work. I look forward to the day I reach "onederland" too. I will get there and it's people like you who keep me going.




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ANUSCHKA9 9/10/2011 1:57PM

    53. I drove my car in my bathing suit!

OMG! I thought I was the only one afraid of doing this because of my weight.

Congratulations! Your blog is no inspirational, I printed it out and put it up on my bulletin board.


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    Amazing blog! Thank you. I really appreciate your encouraging words. I started Spark in Sept. 2009 and lost around 45 pounds and then I fell off the horse and gained it all back plus about 20 more. Since then I have jumped on and off the site, all the while knowing that I wasn't really ready for the commitment. Two years later, here I am, praying that with God's strength, and the support of my fellow Sparkers, that I can finally become the person that I was created to be.

Comment edited on: 9/10/2011 1:20:02 PM

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DUSTYPRAIRIE 9/10/2011 1:16PM

    You've done amazing work. while not all red I can send you


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BABYBARNEY 9/10/2011 1:10PM

    Thanks for making me want to fly like your red balloons!!! emoticon

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SLIMLEAF 9/10/2011 11:56AM

    What an amazing blog! By a most amazing woman.
Really encouraging and inspiring. Thank you so much for writing it and sharing it. May God bless you abundantly!

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SUNFLOWERGAL40 9/10/2011 10:58AM

    I am old enough to remember the song! I loved that song! I love your story! You are amazing! Thank you for sharing your story and being such a motivation and inspiration to the rest of us! emoticon

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TYTICE 9/10/2011 10:55AM

    awesome....thanks for the encouragement ...

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STORMYKAT1 9/10/2011 10:20AM

    Very Awesome!! Love the list!! Your elation and pride shine with every word. What wonderful achievements. CONGRATULATIONS!!!! & Thank you for the pool of inspiration.

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STORMYKAT1 9/10/2011 10:15AM

    Very Awesome!! Love the list!! Your elation and pride shine with every word. What wonderful achievements. CONGRATULATIONS!!!! & Thank you for the pool of inspiration.

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MONYNABALD 9/10/2011 9:54AM

    great job.... it is very isnpiring, you look great.....

emoticon emoticon

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100STEPSUP 9/10/2011 9:05AM

    Wow! Way to give me wings!!!!! emoticon

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    From 37 to 47 to 33. Congratulations! Awesome blog.

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NETGNAL 9/10/2011 8:37AM

    Congrats! I loved your 99 list.

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IWUNDER 9/10/2011 8:36AM

    Thanks for sharing. You really do inspire!! If you can do it, so can I!!


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SWEETMERI 9/10/2011 8:36AM

    There are no words. Hands down one of the best blogs I have EVER read on SP. Thank you a thousand times over for sharing!

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YIGOBUTTERFLY 9/10/2011 6:02AM

    What more can I say than, "Wow" and good for you!

Jane on Guam

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New Life through Christ (Baptism pix)

Monday, August 22, 2011

“Baptism is a process of birth, through which a new dimension of life opens out.”

~ Peter Seewald, God and the World

Yesterday I was baptized in Silver Lake at our church picnic. Being born and raised Catholic I was also baptized when I was a baby. A believer’s baptism is more of a public expression of faith, symbolically representative of the inner conversion of the person being baptized.

It was in November 2008 that I called out to God during the darkest time of my life. My baptism was an outward gesture of what my heart already knows - that I am His.

For those of you, my close friends and family, who didn’t realize how depressed I was back then, all I can say is that I can put on a good front of being happy, and also I am, by nature a happy person and even depression and darkness can’t hold the soul down for long. It was with you all that I was the happiest, the best times I can remember, so naturally I would be happy around you. But once alone at home and just getting out of bed was hard. Once my first daughter was born I did it because, well, because I had to, and I did want to for her, I wanted to not be this person that on the inside was sad all the time. But how happy can someone be when they are morbidly obese and weigh 300 lbs.?

Also I don’t want anyone to feel badly that they may not have known that it was this bad for me. Like I said, I hid it well.

Here is more or less what I said before I was immersed in the water:

Three years ago I was sad, depressed and in a dark place.
A pit, you could say.
I weighed almost 300 lbs.
I had no energy.
I had no hope.
Then I called out to a God I had forgotten. I called out for help.
And He answered.

Since then He has molded and transformed my life into something I never could have imagined.
Something I never could have done on my own.

I’ve lost nearly 100 lbs. – almost half of myself physically.
I now have two beautiful daughters and an amazing husband.
I am full of energy and joy.
I am a completely different person.
But these are all things that you can see.
What you can’t see is the transformation inside.
But I hope to show that through my actions and my life.

Today I want to symbolize with action my love and acceptance of Jesus Christ into my life.

Afterward we sang the Doxology:

Praise God, from Whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him, all creatures here below;
Praise Him above, ye Heavenly Host;
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Amen.

Here are some pictures:

Finally this email came in my inbox yesterday before going to the baptism and I thought it was so appropriate that I’m reposting here:

There are many "RE" words that are packed with hope and encouragement. The word REpurpose is often used today to remind us that many things once discarded, considered useless, and put aside for the trash heap, can be brought back, become useful once again, have value, and take on new meaning.

In the Scriptures we find some wonderful "RE" words that can keep hope and encouragement alive and thriving in our hearts.

I am the LORD...I will redeem you with a stretched out arm, and with great judgments. Exodus 6:6

'For I will restore health to you and heal you of your wounds,' says the Lord. Jeremiah 30:17

But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles... Isaiah 40:31

- Roy Lessin, DaySpring co-founder and writer

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

G_TWINS 9/12/2011 12:44PM

    What a wonderful Blog!

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DZINE4KING 9/2/2011 1:27PM

    Great blog! So glad you were transformed inside and out!

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YBROWNING40 8/28/2011 10:58PM

    Amen.. With God all things are possible...

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SHELLEYNALLS 8/28/2011 11:44AM

    So, after reading this, I have discovered that not only are you my sister on this journey to health and fitness, you are my Sister In Christ; which is simply amazing!

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SWEETBEETL 8/26/2011 4:56PM

    It is almost as if you were telling my story. So happy for you!!! GOD is amazing.

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REENSKI 8/24/2011 9:42PM

    Congratulations Kathy!

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KESHA1975 8/24/2011 2:31PM

    Awesome Story and Inspiration! Thanks for sharing! I love that you actually told the meaning behind baptism. You are a truly awesome and inspiring Lady!! Shine on!!

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STARFIRE125 8/24/2011 12:32AM

    Thank your for sharing your pics, your story and your heart. I am thrilled for you!
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13

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GETFIT2LIVE 8/23/2011 1:25PM

    Love the pictures and the blog. Being baptized as an adult is so meaningful; I was baptized as a teenager, so I was old enough to make the choice for myself and know what I was doing, but I think it would mean even more now. Bless you!

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THENEWDARLENE 8/23/2011 12:59PM

    What a wonderful testimony! I'm so glad you shared this with us. We serve a Wonderful Savior.

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THEADMIRAL 8/23/2011 12:33PM

    He Who began a good work in YOU will see it to completion!

Wonderful pictures and testimony! Happy New Birthday! emoticon

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LOOZINITNOW 8/23/2011 10:44AM

    Beautiful pics! Congrats!

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KROLES55 8/23/2011 9:34AM

    Wonderful pictures, You have a beautiful smile. "Therefore, if any man be in Christ he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

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CHICAGOHEALTHY 8/22/2011 10:33PM

    Congratulations on your Baptism and your new life. You are truly blessed!

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ASMITH3B 8/22/2011 6:47PM

    Love it! Praise God!

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BOBBIENORTHERN1 8/22/2011 5:08PM

  I love your blog and it brought back memories of my public baptism for Jesus.

I got born from above in 1984 in October and did not get baptised until 2001 because it took me that long to find a church that was willing to baptise me.

It was so exciting to me to be baptised in the pool of water in public and I will never forget it.

Great blog and thank you for bringing back some great memories for me.

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TEMPEST272002 8/22/2011 4:42PM

    A lovely testament to your faith.

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MOMFAN 8/22/2011 4:05PM


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MADE-FOR-MORE 8/22/2011 12:58PM

    Congratulations! God can do awesome things if we let him!

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TREASURINGLIFE 8/22/2011 12:40PM

    Love it! :)

- Michelle

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GOGOMAMA 8/22/2011 12:33PM

    Beautiful!! Congrats!

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TEDDYBEARGIRL 8/22/2011 12:04PM

    Praiseing Jesus with you!

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RDARLING 8/22/2011 12:01PM

    Blessings and joy to you!

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    I am so proud of you!!!!!! I love you!

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MISSROCKABILLY 8/22/2011 11:31AM

    Beautiful blog, Kathy. Thanks so much for sharing this special day with us!

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KKINNEA 8/22/2011 10:51AM


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AMBER281 8/22/2011 10:44AM

    What a truly wonderful experience. Thanks for sharing it with us.

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SGTSUNNY 8/22/2011 10:44AM

    Thank you for posting this! You will never go back to that dark place!

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BRIANDOYLE 8/22/2011 10:39AM

    Congratulations and great to hear all that the Lord has|is done|doing!

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WYND10 8/22/2011 10:39AM

    I love this. How inspiring. Congratulations.

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TABIKATZZ 8/22/2011 10:35AM

    I am so happy for you!! You are glowing in that last picture. Baptism is a wonderful thing and such an important step in your walk with God. Congrats!

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JENJESS48 8/22/2011 10:33AM

    What a meaningful experience, Kathy. You've come so far! emoticon

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Inspire Podcasts

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Listen to two different heath, fitness, or nutrition podcasts this week. Blog about why you enjoy them and what you learned from them for 30 points.

Well I listened to lots of podcasts to fulfill the challenge this week, and like they say, sometimes you have to kiss a lot of frogs before you find Prince Charming :) Most were just tools to advertise other products that were being sold - all to "enhance" your life, and some were just people that like to hear themselves talk and felt too self-indulgent for me.

The most notable ones that didn't make the cut are:


I've always liked the idea of a "life coach", and this podcast sounded like a perfect little podcast to start your day. Wrong.

This guy has a LOT of energy. This episode (his thousandth and something) talks about when you seek a self-help guru, or read a book, there are all different systems, so you get a different “system” with each book. So you’re kind of playing ping-pong between them all, and end up confused. That’s why he created this podcast.

Of course, before 2 minutes was up he was selling his membership of his website, his community, his personal coaching….

This week’s topic was decision making. Well, this is perfect timing for me as I’m making a lot of BIG decisions lately: life insurance, investments, doctors….

He did say ONE thing that I found helpful.

He said that if you go to make a decision, you need to have a clear state of mind. When you are angry it’s not the time to make a decision. In traffic? Not the time. Watching the news? Not the time. You need to clear your mind first (for me this goes into my spirituality and how I try to clear my mind and meditate, pray, read the bible) although it isn't always easy to do that.

Now this is where it gets weird.

He said we “shine” because we are in a good state (cheesy and I don't quite know what that means)

He was still talking about how you should become a member of his site after 20 minutes in. I would not listen again. While I heard something that I sort of knew already, this podcast was just a sales pitch. This was a FAIL.



This guy lost a bunch of weight, became a vegan and is now a marathoner. This was his 31st podcast, recapping his San Francisco marathon. I expected to find a runner talking about his life, and some inspiration.

This was a wash….before he went into his race report there was about five minutes of him and his wife talking about making cocoa ….I don’t have time for this! Stopped listening.

This next one is in my "no" list because I wouldn't listen to it again...but there were some tidbits of helpful information inbetween her selling things.

FitGirl (www.allinoneworkout.com) with Kira Langolf

Episode #101

· Dead lifts for tight thighs

· Nutrition guides

· Obstacles and how to eliminate them

Right away touted her fitness community, Club Fit, which has many levels of membership, bronze, which is free and then silver and gold which you pay for.

With Spark I can’t see why people would pay for such a community when Spark is so awesome.


The first 5 and a half minutes was her selling things….

But after that..

She gave tips on doing the dead lift…a little boring for me…but I wanted to get to the part about overcoming obstacles…on my iPod I can’t fast forward..

For those that do the dead lifts she suggests starting with lighter weights if you are struggling with form, form is more important. And you are supposed to feel it a bit in your back, but to protect your back make sure it’s as straight as possible.


Again she said she has tools to help define good nutrition…

A drastic reduction in calories will mess up your metabolism, it needs to be “revved” up all the time. Not everyone’s metabolism is the same. We all need the right amount of protein, carbs and fat. She said it’s not all about calories in and calories out. You need the right types of calories and by keeping track of this (which you can do on Spark) then it will become habit.

Female 44 and height 5.5 – 130 lbs. For this person to maintain weight it would be 1595 calories, just to MAINTAIN, she put in sedentary…

For the same person, exercising 4 days a week – VERY ACTIVE that goes up to almost 2300 calories to MAINTAIN.

She said that if you are exercising that much you can eat 1800 – 2000 calories and STILL lose weight.

BUT if you are working out that much and eating only 1200 calories you are starving your body and once that happens you starve the muscle and then you’re in the diet mode.

She said most people go way too low in calories and mess up the metabolism. Once that happens takes a long time for the metabolism to get back to normal. You will need to repair your metabolism and

Go to the nutrient calculator, you can sign up to the bronze membership, which is FREE to get that calculator.

Sedentary is sitting on the couch, doing nothing.

Then see where you are in real life and the numbers you should be aiming for.

Note: I went online and it said I need 2540 cals. Per day with moderately active.. (56g. fat per day, 222 g protein per day, 254 g. carb per day)

2283 lightly active (50g. fat per day, 199 g. protein per day, 228 carbs per day)

1992 sedentary

Spark has me at 1400 – 1750 with burning 1500 cals. Per week to lose 1.3 lb. per week….

So I wondered if I was too low...

SO AFTER READING THIS I went to the Mayo Clinic calculator and it said that I need 2000 calories to maintain weight per day for an active person. 1850 for somewhat active and 1650 for inactive.

Note: The above calculations are based on a ratio of 20% daily calories from fat, 35% from proteins and 40% from carbs. This is the best ratio for retaining and creating lean muscle, while dropping body fat. Yes, this only adds to 95%. The remaining 5% is sugar alcohols and not actually needed.


By the way, none of these calculators take into account your metabolism.


We all have obstacles but she said we need to realize that some of them are self-inflicted: negative self talk, procrastination, etc., if you are aware that any of these are happending to you, once you are aware of it then you can do something to change it. With procrastination ask yourself what’s going to happen, usually nothing bad..you’ll feel better once you do it.

Inaction/indecision. This can be paralyzing, and can keep you from doing the things you are supposed to do.



I was excited about this, but it’s not a video, she just talks you through and I am not familiar enough with yoga to know what to do w/out seeing someone..



Never Fear Protein & Knowing CPR
Released Aug 12, 2011

The summary from the website:

We need a "complete protein". So how do we get it? Then Jillian touches on how incredibly important it is to be able to administer CPR. And by request...more calls. Jillian takes caller questions on diet, fitness, nutrition inspiration and overall wellness.

The topic was protein. It was interesting to hear that we should be eating more protein than we are, Spark's guide is something like 60g - 150g, so I'm going to definitely watch this nutritent.

I didn't really love the banter between Jillian and her sidekick, a little annoying, a bit self-indulgent. Kind of boring.

Only 56 g. of protein a day recommended currently. New studies are coming out that say we need more protein.

For protein powders she recommended whey protein powder, for vegans hemp. She recommends against soy (very processed).

She said don’t sacrifice protein when reducing calories. You want to maintain your muscle while losing weight. You don’t want to lose muscle while you lose weight. You need to maintain your resistance training while losing weight.

The hour after working out, the “golden hour” this is the prime time to take in protein. The recommendation is about 20g. of protein around your workout time.

Now they are saying 10g. (30 min. before) before the workout, and 10g. after. (w/in 30 min. after)

If you eat a protein rich breakfast, you consume a total of 200 calories less per day.

Then it went into how to do CPR, but I think this is something you really need to take a class in…

At this point I don’t know if I like this podcast yet.

Then came the callers.

One woman called in and was hurt by her friend’s death and at first I felt that Jillian was hard on her, (I have only seen the first season of Biggest Loser, so I forgot how "hard" Jillian can be). And I also think her yelling is a reflection of her passion for these people, she truly cares about them underneath that hard surface.

Jillian's point to this woman, inbetween her yelling at her, was that she needs to find meaning in her friend’s loss….she heard her child in the background and asked if she was a mom..and was her friend a mom…to see her friend’s death as a warning and how would she feel to leave her kid alone…that you should give tragedys a meaning for happening. (this woman eats badly and smokes, and her friend did, too).

That if her friend just dies to “die” , it was a true tragedy and it was for nothing. And has no meaning.

When she said that it’s Hard, Jillian says “SO and WHAT’S YOUR POINT. (from here on out Jillian's words are in ALL CAPS because she was YELLING lol)

DON’T TRY, TRYING IS PLANNING TO FAIL. (Ok, I think Yoda said this?)








Yes (the woman is barely whispering, does not sound convincing at all)





This is where this dialogue really touched me emotionally and it’s funny, I didn’t expect it to….

Most of you know that my own kids are one of my #1 motivators to lose weight.

I immediately thought of them, and of my family, and of where I used to be and how it has been hard to be almost near my goal, but so worth it. I think of my mom who is obese and has been most of my life, and how I want a change for her...





Afterer the call was over, she said “I needed to go hard on her.”

She is also going to check up on this woman and send her free DVDs and enroll her in the website. I thought that was very cool of her.




This is nice because the transcript is online, so I just copied and pasted it. It was very helpful and interesting and something I'll listen to often. As a writer I love Grammar Girl and this is a sister podcast. What's even better? NO advertisements! Also I learned something new about yogurt, it needs to say "contains live active cultures" to have the good flora. Some yogurts don't have that.

by Monica Reinagel, M.S., L.D./N.

This week I received not two, not three, but four emails from listeners with questions about frozen yogurt and ice cream. Obviously, it’s a topic I’ve been neglecting! Today, I’ll try to tackle all your questions, including whether or not frozen yogurt contains beneficial bacteria, what all those chemicals are doing in low-fat frozen desserts, and which ones might be the healthiest.

Does Freezing Kill the Beneficial Bacteria in Yogurt?

Grammar Girl has been using her ice cream maker to make frozen yogurt this summer. But she’s wondering if freezing the yogurt might affect the things that make yogurt so good for you. Kelly had the same question about making smoothies with yogurt and frozen fruit.

As you might remember from my episode on Fermented and Cultured Foods (#4), yogurt contains friendly bacteria that help keep your digestive system healthy. But these friendly flora are only helpful if they’re alive when you eat them. That’s why you should look for the words “Contains live and active cultures” on any yogurt package to be sure you’re getting the good stuff.

The good news is that freezing does not kill beneficial bacteria. In fact, it preserves them in a state of suspended animation until you eat them, at which point they warm up and resume their regular helpful activities, like fending off harmful bacteria, aiding with digestion, and producing certain vitamins. So, Kelly, you’ll get all the benefits of the yogurt in your frozen-fruit smoothies.

Does Frozen Yogurt Contain Live Cultures?

But I couldn’t answer Grammar Girl’s question about frozen yogurt for sure without seeing her recipe. Although it might seem an odd way to make a frozen dessert, many recipes start out by heating up milk, adding other ingredients, and then chilling the mixture before adding it to the ice cream maker. The bacteria in yogurt will die if they get any hotter than about 112 degrees F.

In Grammar Girl’s recipe, you heat up milk and sugar until it boils. Then you stir in the yogurt and some berries that you’ve pureed in the blender and chilled. If the yogurt is added to boiling milk, the beneficial bacteria will probably be destroyed. Grammar Girl suggested that if she adds the chilled berries first, it would cool the milk down enough that the bacteria in the yogurt would survive. She’s exactly right. As long as the mixture is cooler than 112 degrees F when the yogurt is added, she should be fine.

The problem with frozen yogurt you buy at the grocery store is that it’s heat-processed which destroys any beneficial bacteria in the finished product.

And that’s the problem with frozen yogurt you buy at the grocery or ice cream store. It has to contain a certain amount of actual yogurt in order to be labeled frozen yogurt. But if it’s heat-processed--and I’d assume that most commercial frozen yogurt is--you’re not going to get any beneficial bacteria in the finished product.

Most Frozen Yogurt Does Not Contain Live Cultures

If you can find frozen yogurt that’s specifically labeled with the words “Contains live and active cultures,” however, you’ve hit the jackpot. Or, you can make your own! I’ll include Grammar Girl’s recipe for Fat Free Blackberry Frozen Yogurt in this week’s Nutrition Diva email tips. But, Grammar Girl warns that her frozen yogurt bears very little resemblance to the frozen yogurt you buy in the store.

“It freezes hard as a rock,” she says, “but so does every other recipe I've tried. I'm still experimenting to try to make it a better texture.” I think I have some ideas. Grammar Girl’s Blackberry Frozen Yogurt uses skim milk and nonfat plain yogurt, plus berries and sweeteners. Adding a little fat by using 1% or 2% milk instead of skim and low-fat yogurt instead of fat-free would probably improve the texture quite a bit--and might also allow her to reduce the amount of sweetener to boot. So, she might even be able to improve the texture without increasing the total calories.

Smooth, Creamy, and Fat Free: How Do They Do It?

Fats are a natural part of many foods, including most dairy products. When you take them away, the flavor and texture suffers. So how do manufacturers make low-fat and fat-free frozen desserts so smooth and creamy?

Food engineers have been amazingly resourceful about finding ways to fake the texture and flavor of fat. Although it’s quaint to think that it’s simply a matter of churning it twice, that has nothing to do with it. In fact, they use all sorts of emulsifiers, binders, and thickeners to mimic the texture and taste of higher fat products.

That may not be quite as bad as it sounds. Most of these additives are derived from foods like soybeans, eggs, and corn. But it’s not exactly the ice cream Grandma used to make, is it? Then again, it’s a heck of a lot lower in fat and calories than Grandma’s, too, which means we can eat it in vast quantities, right?

See, that’s where it all goes off the tracks. Obviously, if it’s got half the calories but you eat twice as much, you’re breaking even. And if you’re polishing off an entire carton every night, well…maybe Grandma was onto something.

Is A Little Fat So Bad?

Which brings me to Amanda’s question. She’s been standing around in the frozen foods aisle reading labels lately. “I found a variety [of ice cream] made with only natural ingredients,” she writes, “and while it was low in fat, it contained saturated fat. Another brand contained no fat (and therefore no saturated fat) but it contained maltodextrin, which I have heard negative things about. What would be the better choice for my overall health?”

If it were me, Amanda, I’d probably choose the ice cream with the small amount of saturated fat over the one with all the distinctly un-Grandma-like ingredients. Not only is a small amount of saturated fat not going to kill you, but it will probably taste a whole lot better. Just be sure to keep an eye on the serving size and, of course, no dessert until you eat your vegetables!

Visit nutritiondiva.quickanddirtytips.com for a transcript of this episode, along with links to more information on yogurt and frozen desserts and some recipes for making your own. And, if you’d like to try Grammar Girl’s Blackberry Frozen Yogurt , be sure you’re signed up to get my weekly email tips.

Girlfriends Bible Study – How to Stay Fit for the Fight


I believe that spirituality is part of a healthy lifestyls, and this podcast I found is amazing! One I have subscribed to. It was about staying "fit" in a different way mentally. The one I listened to is called "God's Word on Life's Challenges". It was SO POWERFUL for me, right now I've been going through some of life's challenges, and this was so timely for me.

The woman said that you need to be ready for the fight before it happens or Satan can just come and mess up your world. She said something funny, "You've got to be doing something right if the devil is after you." LOL!

She said something really powerful That it is not what we think about that is sin, but only when we take ACTION it turns to sin, so it's the devil's lie that we aren't good people, or Christians, to think a certain thing we shouldn't . We need to take that thought captive to Christ.

When we take thoughts captive, we are bringing them to the obedience of Christ. Doing this will give us peace and shield our minds.

Here is some scripture that she read:

Lamentations 3:25-30 (The Message)

25 God proves to be good to the man who passionately waits, to the woman who diligently seeks. 26 It's a good thing to quietly hope, quietly hope for help from God. 27 It's a good thing when you're young to stick it out through the hard times. 28 When life is heavy and hard to take, go off by yourself. Enter the silence. 29 Bow in prayer. Don't ask questions: Wait for hope to appear. 30 Don't run from trouble. Take it full-face. The "worst" is never the worst.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CHICAGOHEALTHY 8/22/2011 11:13PM

    Thank you for your podcast reviews. Very interesting!

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CANNOTFATHOM 8/20/2011 9:47PM

    Sounds like you did what I did....weeded through a handful to get to some valuable information :) Thanks for the info!!!


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TEMPEST272002 8/20/2011 4:23PM

    Thanks for the great reviews.

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THEADMIRAL 8/20/2011 12:46PM

    Great blog! Thanks!

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XTMONT 8/20/2011 12:44PM

    I love your reviews! THanks for that!

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    what a wonderful blog! i love you!

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HSMOM2FOUR 8/20/2011 10:31AM

    great reviews! thanks!

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MISSROCKABILLY 8/20/2011 10:15AM

    Great reviews! I'm glad you included the ones you didn't like, and why. I don't like podcasts with lots of ads either, or where they are pushing certain things.

I've been really curious as to the proper amount of calories needed to maintain too, you can come across some wildly divergent numbers online. My gym is actually offering Resting Metabolic Rate testing, for a cost of course, but I think I am going to do it, just to have a more concrete number for myself.

I'm definitely going to have to check out the Nutrition Diva podcast, I love Grammar Girl!

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KKINNEA 8/20/2011 9:52AM

    Great reviews. I like Jillian, she is very balanced although some people only hear the yelling. Lots of frogs in there too :)

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Competing With Your Inner Athlete and Winning

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Instead of sleeping in this morning I…


It’s been too long since I last ran. It’s been 12 days to be exact. My last run was my first 10k. After a big race I usually take a week off to regroup, to rest, to do other activities. This time one week turned into two. I started to feel fluffy, lazy, and like my “old self” – the self that I do not want to see anytime soon (if ever). I was feeling down. I was feeling tired. I usually don’t drink wine very often, maybe once a month or twice socially. But lately I have been so stressed that I found myself turning to wine at night, leading to overeating. I was seeing a pattern that I didn’t like starting to emerge.

I think for me after a big athletic accomplishment I think – what’s next? I hit a PR on my 10k, I ran the fastest I have and the longest distance. That can intimidate my inner athlete. It can shut me down. Perfectionism sets in and if I can’t do it FULL OUT then why do it? That’s crazy thinking though. I think well, my next run has to be fabulous. But you know what? It doesn’t have to be. My next run could be sloppy, I decided last night after finishing off my 2nd and a half glass of wine and bowl of popcorn. My next run, I thought, could be tomorrow morning. Early. I looked at the clock. It was late. So I made a deal with myself. I would set two alarms for the morning. One to wake me up an hour earlier, at 5:30 a.m., and the other for my normal time. If I absolutely couldn’t get up for that first alarm, I would forgive myself. And my plan wouldn’t be to run 6.2 miles, or even a mile. My plan was to just get my a$$ out the DOOR.

I think a part of me didn’t really think I would get up early. I didn’t set my running clothes out as I normally would. Shoot, my shoes and gym bag were even in my car trunk. And yet I woke up minutes before that first alarm even sounded. My body was ready for this and I’m sure impatient with the mind games my head wanted to play. It was on. I got out of bed, silently grabbed blindly in the dark in my drawers for something suitable to wear. Confession? I didn’t even wear undies on this run – I simply couldn’t find ones without lace or frill in the dark and I’m not going to give myself and undie grundie while running. No thank you. Oh, and note to self - Bondi Bands really DO work - I used a cheapo band that kept falling off and didn't do anything to wick my sweat.

As I’m walking out the door in just my socks (my shoes are in the trunk, remember?) I silently ask myself – are you really going to do this? It felt wonderful out. A slight breeze in the air. The forecast said 80s. I felt like doing it. I have missed it. So I manage to leave our driveway without waking the girls up and I go. I don’t really have a plan, but I know I want to make it to the pond, it is gorgeous there in the morning. So I run. I also don’t care how fast I’m running or if I have to take walk breaks. I'm not going to feel bad about a darn thing. It’s all good. I’m out there and I’m doing it. I see a woman running up the street, she looks like a marathoner. We wave. I see two more women riding bides that look pretty serious, too. We wave. I think – wow, I could have missed all of this by sleeping right now.

I am feeling a bit fluffy, my tummy is bouncing more than it typically is, probably from all the cheese curds and cupcakes I ate over the weekend. But I am happy. And I DON’T CARE. I am doing this for the pure love of it and who cares about anything else other than my breath in my ears, my feet on the sidewalk and the breeze in my hair. It’s amazing.
I make it to the pond and I am really sweating now. Here are some pictures I took of the beauty I found this morning.

And here is, as Yoovie would say, my “sweaty proof”.

On the way home I picked a dandelion for Lucy and she made a wish this morning.

I ended up running 4.25 miles this morning, but I would have been happy with 1. Or even a half a mile. Because I got out there.

My wish for all of you? To get out there, to just do it, and while your only competition IS yourself, that doesn’t mean you always have to BEAT yourself. (Or beat yourself up for not being perfect). What do you want to do? What have you been putting off? It’s never too late, as Nike says, just get out there, and JUST DO IT.

So go ahead, compete with your inner athlete. That's healthy enough. Just don't let it beat you, and instead, in the infamous words of Charlie Sheen....be "WINNING!""

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JENJESS48 8/22/2011 2:29PM

    You're such an inspiration, Kathy! And GORGEOUS pictures!

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THEADMIRAL 8/20/2011 4:18PM

    Wonderful blog and I love the pictures! Thanks for the inspiration to just get out there and ENJOY! emoticon

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GETFIT2LIVE 8/19/2011 5:10PM

    SO proud of you for getting out there and doing it! Love the pictures; those views made it all worthwhile, though, not to mention the sense of accomplishment at getting it done. Every run does not need to to be a PR or spectacular; just RUN.


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LOOZINITNOW 8/19/2011 9:09AM

    Love it and love you!!!

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ZURDTA- 8/19/2011 4:26AM


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    I am so proud of you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And what beautiful and spiritual pictures!!!! I love you!

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FITFUNKYMAMA1 8/18/2011 10:27PM

    I went for my kinda run this morning too,so glad I didn't sleep in!!! now though I still have to shower....eeewwww...lol great job!!!

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TEMPEST272002 8/18/2011 7:47PM

    What a wonderful, fabulous, inspiring blog. I love how you forgave yourself. I love how you got outside by focusing on the joy of it. I love the gorgeous view we all got to enjoy thanks to the photos. I LOVE IT! You inspire me. Tomorrow, when I'm running for the joy of it through the woods, I'm going to be thinking of you.

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CARILOUIE 8/18/2011 7:22PM

    I have that green Bondi Band! And you are right - they are amazing.

AWESOME run!!!!

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OFFDREA 8/18/2011 3:28PM

    You my friend ROCK!!!

That was me last night, I had plans to meet a friend for a walk around a park and just wasn't feeling it. I actually fell asleep for a bit and when I woke up had a text message "are we still walking? I sure hope we are...."
I was up and out the door and I enjoyed every second of it!!!

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SEATTLESIMS 8/18/2011 2:16PM

    Awesome! great job on the run.. thanks fo the motivation!

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WRENRAMON 8/18/2011 2:12PM

    Thanks for posting this! Looks like a great run! I'm just getting back into running and I've sooo missed that feeling of accomplishment after a run.
Just a thought for fighting with that PR demon. I had this problem when I was doing my third triathlon on the same course; something went wrong at the beginning (got kicked in the face) and I just shut down. I was so frustrated by the end of the race because I knew I wouldn't PR. So my plan for this year? Just choose different races, different types, and different lengths so then I CAN'T fight the PR demon because there won't be anything to compare it to! Just a thought!
Way to get out there!!

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MISSROCKABILLY 8/18/2011 12:56PM

    Way to go on getting out there and running! We did something similar today...decided that even if we didn't feel up to running, we were going to get up early anyhow and at least take a walk. Turned into about half and half, and now we're going to try and get up and do one or the other at least Monday through Friday.

You rock!!

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SEWINGMAMACDS 8/18/2011 12:54PM


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SLFRISBEY 8/18/2011 12:53PM

    You really make me want to run! Great job getting it done!

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ROBYNROSE26 8/18/2011 12:37PM

    Awesome, I wish I would have read this and took your advise rather than sleeping in this morning. I am kicking myself now emoticon

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TEDDYBEARGIRL 8/18/2011 12:26PM


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JMEPAYNE 8/18/2011 11:53AM

    what a beautiful area for a run!! good job girl!

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GRANNYLOON 8/18/2011 11:51AM

    Love your blog!!! It is so true - I let myself get bogged down with the guilts about letting things go but we do need to just start in - Now!! Good for you!!! And may I say that you are looking marvelous!!!! Way to go, Lady!!!!

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GTANYA 8/18/2011 11:25AM

    Loved this blog. Having plantar fascitis I was thinking that if I couldnt do my high impact than why should i do it. But this week I said to myself (my pep talk) - so what if i do low impact - at least I am doing somthing - and you know what I am loving it!!!! So cheers friend for sharing your wonderful run today and your thoughts and WOO HOO to you!!!!!

Have a lovely day (i know you will!!).


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CHICAT63 8/18/2011 11:08AM

    Love it, you go SISTA !!!! LOL about no undies and looking for something in the dark, we are alike.....when I come back from early morning runs on weekeends hubby says it quicker to jump in the shower & back to bed - MOUAH !

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CALLIKIA 8/18/2011 10:59AM

    Yep! Time to get up and get out and remember why we enjoy it so much, right? If you can't find the joy in it, what's the point? :)

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K_FUHRMAN 8/18/2011 10:54AM

    It's about two weeks since my last run too. Thanks. Time to hit the road :)

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FITFOODIE806 8/18/2011 10:54AM

    Your pictures and words make me want to go out and run RIGHT NOW! It's so great that you recognized the bad pattern you were slipping into and put a stop to it. I'm in a similar spot.
And the last part about your daughter and the dandelion gives me goose bumps. so sweet.

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XTMONT 8/18/2011 10:50AM

    I love it! How inspiring! I was kind of beginning to dread my 4 miler tomorrow, but now I'm not!

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KKINNEA 8/18/2011 10:49AM

    LOVE THIS BLOG!!! So inspirational - you rock! emoticon

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First 10K Race Recap (with pics)

Monday, August 08, 2011

I was nervous for my first 10k (6.2 miles). Since the 10k start time was at 8 a.m. it made sense to stay at my sister’s place in Chicago. My hubby was going be at Lollapalooza all weekend, so it would just be me and the girls. I packed the night before and on Friday my nerves were Jell-O. I left work early to get into the city at a reasonable time.

My sister Kara and her boyfriend, Jan made the most amazing dinner. Chicken and veggie kebobs with delicious pasta salad. For the kids they made mac & cheese. It was all so yummy. Then we watched Rango and had some popcorn that I made.

Watching Rango

My daughter Lucy made me the sweetest picture of me running in the race.

We didn’t go to bed until about 10 p.m., and little did I know that I would get almost NO sleep that night. My 5 yr. old, Lucy, wanted to sleep with my sister and her bf in their bed. I had imagined her and Marlo sleeping on the two twin air mattresses we had set up in my sister’s office, but instead I slept with Marlo, my 2 hr. old, in the office on a twin mattress. I wanted to leave her after she fell asleep and go sleep on the couch instead as my back doesn’t really respond well to air mattresses, but the minute I moved, rolled over, coughed, anything, Marlo woke up and cried. The rest of the time she was constantly rubbing my face the way you would swat a fly. Let’s just say I got almost ZERO sleep. Once I did fall asleep, somewhere around 3 a.m., I had a dream that I overslept and then I couldn’t find my cell phone once I woke up to see what time it was and light was starting to come in the window and I was sure I had in reality overslept. Marlo had hidden my phone under the air mattress cushion. Once I finally found it it was 4:45 a.m. My alarm was set for 5:30, so I figured I would get up then.

As soon as I got up, Marlo screamed. My sister came to the rescue and held her while I showered and got ready to go. I had a bowl of Grapenuts and a banana – no coffee – I typically have 2 cups a day but can’t drink any the morning of a race. I am feeling mighty tired about now. Also Lucy woke up when I did, so she is underfoot. I am realizing just how lucky I am to have my husband in my life, I felt like a single mom this weekend and it is really hard work. (Kudos to all the single moms out there, you are amazing women!!!) Now after the night I had, let me tell you, I did not feel like running. But no way was I going to miss it.

Jan drove me to Montrose Harbor, where the race start was. On the way there it starts to rain. Not just rain, but torrential downpour! I had looked at the weather the day before and the forecast said rain in the afternoon, not the morning. I was not prepared. I enjoy running in the rain, but I’ve never run in such a downpour. I took shelter underneath a bait shop across the street, along with a bunch of other people.

The bait shop after the race

I texted Jenn (KITHKINCAID) and she was en route to the start line. While I waited there was a group of about 10 girls in a bachelorette party who were contemplating not running the race. They wanted pictures to prove that they were crazy enough to run in such rain, so I happily obliged and took two photos of them – one where they were all smiling, and one where they all had frowny faces. It was funny. Then I hear my name being called and it’s Jenn! I’m so happy to see a face I know, I give her a hug and we head toward the porta-potties and then onto gear check. I am soaked at this point. My shoes are wet, my socks are wet. I text my friend Blaize (DANCINGEARTHMOM) and say something along the lines of “I can’t believe I have to run in this sh*t.” She sent me an encouraging word back, and on her 10k she had the same thing happen. I tell Jenn about my lack of sleep and she reminded me that I do well on little sleep - I had forgotten that before another race (Hot Chocolate or Shuffle) that Marlo had been up all night crying from teething.

Jenn and I check our gear and find a tree to stretch out. The path is already flooding with water. I think that the beginning of the race can be summed up in four words of wisdom that were on Jenn’s Bondi Band – “Suck it up Cupcake”.

This is a smaller race so people weren’t lined up according to pace. At the start it was kind of a free-for-all. As we began Jenn told me to have a good race and we were off!

Photo Copyright Chicago Personal Photographers

There was a sea of people and the road was so flooded I ran up on the grass. I lost sight of Jenn right away. I was too focused on the ground ahead of me and trying to avoid the huge puddles of water. I looked out at Lake Michigan and it was still beautiful even though it was cloudy and foggy. My typical suburban runs aren’t as scenic so I tried to take it all in. Also, the miraculous thing was that the rain stopped almost immediately as we started running. Bonus! But I still was not used to running with cold, soaking wet clothes on or shoes. My main goal was just to finish. I had stuffed my iPod in the back pocket of my running skirt and so I was not able to change songs like I typically do. This was freeing in a way, though. I just got into my zone and made a deal with myself that I would not look at my Garmin until about halfway through. My Garmin is also known to not be 100% accurate (I think because I don’t have the GPS version), so I don’t want it to tell me I’m a mile ahead of what I am.

Right away, even before one mile had passed there was a 3 mile marker – I think that was either for the 5k, or a reverse sign, for on the way back, so I knew then that I had to ignore all signs because a.) I get easily confused and b.) They couldn’t be trusted. I think I hear my name being called and it’s probably Hope (CHICAGOHEALTHY), running past me on the other side - it’s nice to have someone cheering you on! Then I run on a bit more and it’s the turnaround point right around the 2 mile point. I’m still not looking at the Garmin. Then I hear my name and it’s Jenn! Just seeing her inspires me, so now I am pumped. I feel like I’m almost halfway through. In my training runs I broke the 10k into 3 segments: beginning, middle and end (pretty simple, huh?). I felt like I was nearing the middle, but I didn’t focus on each mile individually like I did with the 8k, or like I do with 5ks. The 10k is a different beast to tackle. My tactic was to zone out and run. That’s it. Now there’s a man who is near me and keeps sprinting really quick and then walking, sprinting and walking. That doesn’t bother me so much as the fact that when he sprints he always seems to bump my arm, and that is a little annoying. After the third time I am thinking there must be some sort of race etiquette he is breaking – he has plenty of room, no need to bump me, lol. But I just keep running (“Just keep swimming, just keep swimming” – in the infamous words of Dori the fish from Finding Nemo).

I feel a tap on my left shoulder and it’s Jenn! We run together for a bit, maybe almost a mile, no words spoken between us, but there is a nice camaraderie that I love. I can hear myself breathing and her breathing. It feels very Zen, if that makes any sense at all, during a run, lol. We come across a huge puddle and run onto the grass to avoid it. I feel like I’m running faster than my pace is, so I slow it down a bit and Jenn moves ahead, I can see her running ahead of me and that becomes a focus point. I am so proud of her, and I feel this welling up in my heart that words can’t really explain. I’m proud of her and I’m proud of me. This is a first for both of us, the 10k distance.

Then I look at my Garmin and it says something like 4 miles. I get back into my zone and run. I get it in my head that I’m just going to be running for a bit longer and that keeps me moving. I see Jenn at another turnaround point and that helps me, too. I fist pump her as I pass her and I say something, but I don’t remember what…maybe just a simple “woo hoo”.

My feet are starting to hurt, but I don’t want to stop. At the last water station I do grab a cup of water but run with it as I try to down it. It feels good.

I see a photographer and I give him a peace sign in honor of my friend Blaize, she has encouraged me so much to run this distance and always made me feel like I could do it – even when I told her I didn’t think I could.

Photo Copyright Chicago Personal Photographers

The moments up to the end feel very long. That last mile was the hardest, and because my Garmin is unreliable it was doing what I feared most, telling me I was about .75 miles further than I was. Everything is a bit of a blur. I keep looking up ahead for the finish line.

Finally it is up ahead. I run and run and try to sprint but just really want to make it there and be done with it. I see Jenn waiting for me at the finish line, I wave to her and then give another peace sign to the camera. I am done!

Photo Copyright Chicago Personal Photographers

I finished and RAN a 10K!!!! I am so thrilled!!! I give Jenn a sweaty hug and we go to grab our gear and then get some eggs and sausage, of which I could only eat about half, but I did also get a yummy mini muffin from Corner Bakery – cheese streusel, yum!

Jenn and I post-race.

Then we get our pint glasses and go to the beer line and meet up with Hope and her running partner. The beer was delicious! We sat and talked and watched people get their awards.

Me and Jenn for the "no beer" picture (although I'm not very good at hiding my beer)

Me, Jenn and Hope celebrating with our 312 brew :)

Hope and her running partner

Then we all went our separate ways and Jan, Kara and the girls picked me up. We decided to have a lunch down on the beach and grabbed some hot dogs from a food stand.

Me and the girls post race

The girls with Kara and Jan



The girls went into the water, Marlo flung herself in a puddle of not-so-clean water, and after running around after a 2 yr. old after running the 10k I was ready to call it a day.

We went back to my sister’s place and Jan made me a wonderful cup of cappuccino, it was better than any coffee shop I’ve had.

They drive us back to our home in the ‘burbs, I put the girls down for a much needed nap and celebrated with a couple of glasses of wine and a game of Scrabble with Kara and Jan. All in all, a perfect day!

Thank you all of my Spark friends for your support, and thank you God for the strength to run this race! My official time was one hour and 13 seconds. I had anticipated finishing in one hour and 20 minutes or more, so I am thrilled that I finished this race in the time that I did.

My name on the finisher's list!

Finishing this race gave me the belief that perhaps one day I can (and will) run a half marathon.

p.s. Note to self - remember this...

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DZINE4KING 8/17/2011 1:47PM

    Wow, unbelievable! What a story you can tell your grand kids one day! You are truly an inspiration to me!

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TODAYIAM 8/11/2011 8:36PM

    WOW Kathy!!! this is awesome... very inspiring!!!

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NORAB52GOOD 8/10/2011 1:28PM

I want to run with you gals!!!!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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    so inspired and excited for my 10k!!! you are incredible :)

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KSTARANNE 8/9/2011 11:14AM

    Congratulations on your success! I can never sleep the night before a run, not because of kids, but nerves. So impressive! Have a great week!

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APMAC_D 8/9/2011 11:07AM

    AMAZING!!!! I am so glad you did it! The pictures are great and it looks like it was a wonderful experience for mind body and soul :)

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SKFEREBEE 8/9/2011 10:45AM

    That's an awesome time for your first 10K, especially being all wet! And no sleep AND no caffeine!


I can definitely see a half-marathon in your future...

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POSITIVE-FORCE 8/9/2011 7:36AM

    I loved your blog it felt like I was on the race with you! I'm so proud of you! YOU DID IT!!! WOOHOOO!!

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JENJESS48 8/9/2011 7:25AM

    You are just simply emoticon, Kathy! Your endurance is beyond impressive; I could not have functioned, let alone run a 10K, on that little sleep. You've come so far in your journey. Congrats, honey!

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ROBYNROSE26 8/8/2011 10:54PM

    Way to go Kathy I am so proud of you!!

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SGTSUNNY 8/8/2011 10:41PM

    I am so proud of you! I knew you would rock this! Great time for your first 10K!

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FANCY-PANTS 8/8/2011 10:06PM

    Awesome! You are inspiring. Keep running. I can't wait to hear all about your future half marathon. You definitely have what it takes! emoticon

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    What an awesome wonderful story. You must be so proud of an amazing accomplishment. I have never even walked a 10K, so I can't imagine running one. You deserve to be proud of yourself. And your daughters are gorgeous!

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FITFOODIE806 8/8/2011 9:26PM

Yes you WILL run a HM! What a great experience for you. Thanks fro sharing with us.

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TEMPEST272002 8/8/2011 9:24PM

    Fantastic race blog. I really enjoyed reading about your day. I can't imagine doing 10K on no sleep - but look at your great time. You've come so far in such a short time. You seriously impress me and inspire me.
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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CANNOTFATHOM 8/8/2011 9:18PM

    The pictures are great! How awesome that you did so well on so little sleep! You rock!!!


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KITHKINCAID 8/8/2011 7:44PM

    You are WONDERFUL! Loved running this race with you girl Beginning to end, I might have copped out were it not for you. Thank you for the inspiration to keep on doing this. We are runners. Don't let anyone ever tell you otherwise!

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CARILOUIE 8/8/2011 7:19PM

    I love this! Thank you for sharing your experience.

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JENNIFER_67 8/8/2011 6:44PM

    emoticon That is fantastic. emoticon

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    Love the race recap! You did great, and I am super proud of you!!

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GETFIT2LIVE 8/8/2011 6:16PM

    AWESOME job on your first 10K--that time is great, especially under those conditions! Love all the pics; you look wonderful!! You rocked it, no doubt about it. Oh, and you absolutely positively CAN run a half marathon. Believe me, once you can run 5 miles, you have the base to train for and run a half, just a matter of slowly increasing your miles. WOO HOO for you!


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OFFDREA 8/8/2011 6:05PM

    oh Kathy I am sooooooooooooooo proud of you!!!!!!!!!!!!
You look so fabulous in your pictures!
Bah, I am totally welling up here. I love that we are able to share in this together. No one I know understands these feelings but you do!!!!!

Again, congratulations and you will be running a half within a year. You already ran half of one!!!!!!!!!!!

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KKINNEA 8/8/2011 5:32PM

    Wow, great job!! Really, really excellent finish and sounds like you did a good job pacing yourself and getting to the finish.

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DAISYDIVA74 8/8/2011 5:07PM

    I am so proud of you!! THis blog is awesome. I can only imagine what a magical day it was for you. You inspire me so much that one day I can do that too. Kathy you have come such a long way in your journey, you are a wonderful person. And I am so blessed you call you a friend!!! I mean would you have ever thought that you would be a runner??? Well you are you are a runner that is awesome!!!!! I adore you! Congrats!!!!!!!!!! LOVE THIS BLOG!!!!!!

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KANSASROSE67 8/8/2011 4:46PM

    Great job! Your time is really, really good!

I play Scrabble with MY sister Kara whenever we can...weird, huh?

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LMLOPEZ 8/8/2011 4:46PM

    WAY TO GO!!! Man, makes me wish I would have run-no babysitter for the 10K. Looks like you had a great time meeting up with the other Sparkers. Glad the rain stopped for you-how are your feet after that run?
I'm so proud of all you guys. Looking fit and healthy and setting good examples for your kids. Way to rock it out!

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    You have me crying over here! 1) that we have touched each others lives so much 2) that you are so freaking amazing and you combatted those fears and you ran your little heart out!!!!!! Igt's hard having kids, but you did it and you totally rocked it! And you my dear, will inspire so many people with this blog, just like you always do! Because you are nothing short of absolutely amazing. I am so blessed to have you in my life and I am so incredibly proud of you and honored that you texted me before your race and after and that you flashed peace fingers!!! heheheehhe.

OH and that skinny athletic RUNNER is you!!!!!!!!!!!

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